So I’ve been working on building this marketplace and am nearing an official launch. I now have my business license. I’ve purchased a domain – mazopiye.com – and have the site nearly complete, although there’s not much there right now. I’m still working on testing the payment functions, and writing policy.
But I get asked a lot – so what is it that you’re doing? You’re selling something?
I am building an online marketplace, which I own, that provides “Store Front” space to any vendor who wants to start their own small business. The most well known examples of multi-vendor marketplaces are Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. Mazopiye Market is essentially the same concept, but featuring only Native American Vendors and authentic Native American arts and crafts – anything from paintings, to quilts, regalia, and beadwork.
While any Native American can become aa vendor, and sell whatever products they choose, those vendors who are selling handcrafted, “Indian-made” items must comply with the Indian Arts & Crafts Act. This Federal Act helps ensure that Native arts and crafts are genuine, and the penalty for “fakes”, or items sold by non-Natives is quite steep.
This market has been underserved by Ebay, Amazon or Etsy because they are unwilling to weed out the “fake” Native American products. I’m trying to sign up American Indian/Native American vendors that currently work out of their home to supplement their household income, who want an easy, zero cost way to access the online market.
The vendors themselves receive the order and ship it to the customer. I have no involvement in handling the product at all. The seller chooses his/her store name, the products they are selling, and the price they are asking.
My market place handles the financial transactions and takes a commission percentage out of each sale. As the marketplace owner, I will also be rolling out strategies and market campaigns to attract customers who would be interested in buying guaranteed authentic Native American Arts & Crafts.
Here’s a graphic that might help… Feel free to ask questions in the comments.
MAZOPIYE MARKET – Showcasing the talent of Native American, entrepreneurs, artisans and craftsmen/women.